Tuesday, October 17, 2006

MotoGP: Why HRC don't care about that crash.

HRC might be temporarily embarrassed about that crash between Pedrosa and Hayden, but in the long term, they just don't care.
Pedrosa is Honda's Golden Boy. As far as the Japanese company are concerned, Dani is the next Doohan. Dani is already a 3-times world champion. In the wierd and wonderful world of Grand Prix motorcyle racing, these world titles are given full credit, even though they were achieved on smaller machines. Rossi and Agostini are celebrated for their total number of championships, regardless of the engine size of the bike they were riding. This is quite unlike the snobbery of car racing.
HRC's main sponsor, Repsol, are a Spanish company with strong links to Argentina. They want to win championships, but they want to win them with a Spaniard. What about an American? Who cares? The commercial advantages for Repsol sponsoring an American world champion are impressive, but the benefits of sponsoring a Spanish world champion are simply incredible.
Nicky Hayden arrived in MotoGP as the AMA Superbike Champion. HRC employed him because he was the fastest young American available. Honda needed him to improve their sales figures in the USA. (It's no coincidence that TV's Doctor House rides a Repsol Honda replica bike.) Hayden was not seen as a multiple champion, he was seen as a fast rider that might win a few races if he stopped crashing all the time.
Dani is the Chosen One. He can do no wrong. HRC always try to think in the long term. They would rather have Dani becoming a multiple world champion, whose name is spoken in the same breath as Agostini, Sheene, Roberts, Rainey, Doohan, Rossi. Do they really care about that honest, hard-working young Kentucky Kid? Do they really want the title at any cost, even if it means "stealing" the title from Rossi by trundling round consistently? Not HRC. They want true glory. They won't punish Dani. They won't think any worse of him. They want Pedrosa to win the championship in 2007, then again and again until he is one of Honda's great heroes. Even if Hayden has the number 1 plate on his bike next year, Dani will be HRC's number 1, no question.
It's not fair on Nicky, one of the most likeable riders in the sport. But that's racing.


Anonymous said...

and that's why if I were Hayden I wouldn't race for Honda. I would have accepted Ducati, or maybe Yamaha with Rossi again as teammate: at least the Italian is more solar and friendly than the Spaniard. Rossi believes in tru friendship (chiwawa tribu') and I believe that in Pedrosa position would have helped Hayden, at least to maintain an ally for next year.

Jimmy said...

I think that Ducati would have been a good choice. Dani is always going to be the number 1 rider for HRC, but Ducati seem genuine about having two equals as teammates.